Saturday, June 30, 2012

Readers Make Better Writers (1)

   Readers Make Better Writers is a new series of blog posts I am creating.
I believe the more active 
readers we are the better writers we can become.
By reading stories I can see what works well and use good writing examples
to better my own writing. In these posts I will include a piece of text I enjoyed,
why I enjoyed it as a reader, and how I can use it in my writing.


Reader: I loved this piece by Lois Lowry it is very poetic. This piece of 
writing played with my senses very well. I could hear the hoot of the owl, 
see the rabbit being taken, and hear the shriek as the rabbit is captured. 
   After I read this short paragraph I had to stop and think about it for
awhile. The images in my head were running wild.  I felt like I was in
nature with those animals. A nice peaceful feeling swept over me then.

Writer: Lois Lowry reminds us that much can be said in just a few
sentences. Sometimes our writing gets too wordy which makes the
story harder to follow. Simple can be better.
   Picking words appropriately is also important. If words are hard to
understand a lot can be lost. Take into account the audience when
choosing words. Would your audience understand the jargon or 
technical words used? Are the words absolutely necessary? If they 
are then find a great way to describe the words in your story.
R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction: Harvest

  A tear rolls down my face stopping at my cheek then slowly continues
downward to the bottom of my chin. I lean over kissing beautiful baby
Emily in the middle of the forehead. She was only born a few hours ago,
yet her body already rests limply against my arms and her lips hold a
bluish hue.

   "It is time," a nurse tells me; leaving the room quickly she shuts the
hospital door tightly behind her.

   Saying my last goodbyes I let them take my baby away, even when
they have to pry my fingers off of her. No matter how hard it is I let her
go because I know that another baby, close to death, is waiting to be saved.  

R.J. Ropsen

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In My Diary (6)

First Novel
   When I was growing up I used to love reading R.L. Stine books. I really
enjoyed reading anything in a long series; something I could read for awhile.
R.L. Stine met my criteria exactly.
   In the beginning I read Goosebumps which weren't very scary, but then
I got into the Fear Street Series. I thought the Fear Street books were
terrifying. They definitely didn't help my overactive imagination.
     After reading quiet a few of R.L. Stine's books I decided I wanted to be
a writer too. I thought of a R.L. Stine type story, and began typing it on my
families computer. I was super secretive about the whole thing. I didn't want
anyone knowing I was writing a book. At the time I found it quiet embarrassing.
What if no one liked my story?
     I wrote almost six chapters of the book and didn't even get into any of the
scary parts, until I finally called it quits. At ten years old I decided I could wait
a few more years before I tried to write my first novel. As for my scary story, it
still sits saved on a floppy disk somewhere in my childhood home. Who knows,
maybe one day it will be inspiration for a novel.

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Writers Tip (1)

Relate characters to people in your life.

  When I am writing a character for a story I like to relate the characters to
certain people in my life. This helps me when I am developing characters
for a story. It makes the character have stronger personalities and seem
more real.

   First, I decide on how my characters will act their traits, and personality.
Then I figure out who in my life is like that character. In the Privileged,
Matthew, is a lot like a good friend of mine. They are both very curious
and want to learn everything.When I write scenes where Matthew is
present I think of my friend and how he would react in that situation.
This makes it easier for me to create a strong character.

Try this writing tip if:
1) You are having a hard time creating a character.
2) Your character seems a little flat.

   This has helped me with my writing. I hope it helps you with yours.
Best of Luck!

P.S. Do you already use this tip in your writing? Then tell me a
character you have written and how they relate to that person in
your life!

R.J. Ropsen

Saturday, June 16, 2012

In My Diary (5)

Night Terrors  
   When I was younger I had night terrors. There were a few dreams I
had that were reoccurring. They seem silly now but I had a very
overactive imagination.
   Every night when I fell asleep I would have a terrifying nightmare.
Sometimes a witch would be after me, or the dryer monster who would
pull me down the basement stairs and into the dryer. Others nightmares
were all too real which made things even more terrifying.
   After a few months of this I was too afraid to go to sleep. Instead I
would read late into the night until I was so tired I would fall into another
nightmare. I needed a way to get rid of these terrible dreams.  
   Another few months went by until I finally came up with a solution to
the problem. Before I went to bed I would make up a nice story in my
head. I would use my imagination in a more positive way.
   I thought if I filled my head with characters, setting, and plot that I
would dream what I had created in my head. This seemed to work.
My dreams were a lot more pleasant.
   I guess you could say I started writing stories at a young age. But
instead of writing them down on paper they were in my head. I am
glad I found my love for writing again. This time I am writing down
my stories in hopes to create something others can read and enjoy.

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tips for Writers Block

   Is writers block making it hard for you to finish your novel? Here are some tips that
can help you finish your novel. The one that you have been trying to get out of your
head and onto paper.

1) Plot out the beginning, middle, and end of your novel. This helps you decide
on the general idea of what your story is about. The more you now about your story
the easier it will be to write.

2) Schedule an hour in your day to write. I found writing on my hour lunch break
was a great way to get in some writing. It takes me 30 minutes to get into a good
writing flow. In an hour I felt I could accomplish a lot of writing.

3) Set a page per day writing goal. I started with a goal of writing 3 pages a day
during the week and 5 pages a day on the weekend.  After a few weeks I found that
I could write a few pages more then my goal! Start with a  page goal that you can
easily accomplish.

4) Begin following your schedule to type your first draft. For your first draft
start typing at an average pace without stopping. Don't worry about word count, page
count, grammatical errors, spelling errors or voice of the story. Type what comes to
your head and what feels right. The first draft is a way to get your ideas on paper! Try
to finish a first draft within a month. For my first novel I wrote my 87 page first draft in
a few weeks. My first draft focused on the main ideas of my story.

5) Move on to the second draft. After the first draft is complete focus on the
second draft. This draft is where you take into account the voice of your story. Try
to decide on what voice you want for the narrative. Focus on flushing out your story
too.  After I finished my first draft my novel was 187 pages.

6) Move on to the third draft. For the third draft really focus on grammatical 
errorsspelling errors, and flow of your novel. This is also a time to fix lose ends,
make stronger connections with characters, and fix contradictions in your writing.
After my third draft my page count was 278.

7) Congratulations your novel is complete! Now it is time to find an editor. After
the editor is finished with your novel find beta readers to test the finished product.
These are two important steps to ensure your novel is more professional.

I hope this helped! Good luck with your writing!

R.J Ropsen